Seeing red. But in a good way....

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2005/06/24 02:10 -04:00, original URI:

I don't think there will be anything technical in this post, but we'll see how it goes....

Today, two different people noticed that the candy bowl was running a little lean if you know what I'm saying. So I skipped lunch and then took a little time to scoot over to the Safeway to get some candy....

Ok, scooted down to Safeway, got the candy. And some more cat food for the princess....

Yes, Chelsea Antionette is still alive and kicking and loving the Fancy Feast -- though I guess she must still be on the roof. I'm gonna keep buying her the food, 'cause at best it's keeping her alive longer, but if not then at least she gets a little nicer care at the end. She won't touch the Deli Cat anymore, anyway. Though her partner in crime Tamara Penelope has been happy to pick at the Fancy Feast aftef Chelsea is done, at least someone who lives here can be flexible!

Now The vet did have me freaked out at first that we were talking just days that Chelsea might have left, but she is not showing any signs of slowing down yet and it has been months. I should probably take her back in, but I am almost afraid to jinx it, you know? Maybe I'll take her back to Rose Hill Animal Hospital, they were definitely much more compassionate there. Heck, I was only there for the x-ray last time around, but I had Kari Emery (the veterinarian) almost in tears when she told me the initial report, and they sent me a card the next day that I got the day after. Ok, something to plan tomorrow, a trip to the vet next time Dr. Emery has a time slot free. I'll bet she remembers Chelsea....

Where I was I? Oh yeah, coming out of the Safeway. Time to pop the stack a bit.

(There are only 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary, and those who do not. The former will understand the meaning of that stack pop reference!)

Anyway, as I scoot back, I pass by the sign of dentist K. Scott Cahoon. Now I have probably passed by this sign a hundred times over the past year, and it reminds me that I have not been to see a dentist in over three years.

You see, I had a dentist with a 24-hour cancellation policy. I was heading on a trip to Las Vegas and had to cancel a Monday morning appointment. So I cancelled my appointment on Friday afternoon, while the dentist's office was still open. At the rescheduled appopintment they reminded me that I owed for the no-show, and they did not seem entirely convinced by my protests. Confirmed when I got the bill.... which I paid and have not seen them since. Its not the money, its just being annoyed at people who nickel and dime that way....

On  a whim I suddenly decide to head to Dr. Cahoon's office, and mak an appointment for some time. His office is right near me, it all seems perfect. Until I head into the building.

I am looking around the lobby of the building, wondering where his office is. A woman in the rehab center heads out to see if I need help. I tell her I am looking for the dentist, and she points up; I guess his office is on the second floor. It figures. The woman is incredibly offended, she thinks I had an appointment. Hell, I might have since it would not occur to me that a professional building in Redmond or Bellevue would not have an elevator. But I did explain that I was just a "walk-in" (well, scoot-in), so no harm done if I scoot out. She still decides to go up and mention to them that they had lost a patient for an accessibility issue, my attempts to disuade her seem to strengthen her resolve. I decide to slink away.... not seeing red, but a bit saddened.

So oh the way back I see the signs for the blood drive that the Puget Sound Blood Center does on the Microsoft campus every few months. I remembered carping a lot to a friend the last time they were there about how I had been 1/4 of the way to my 10 gallon pin (donating as often as eligible from the day I was first allowed to donate) until I was first diagnosed with multiple Sclerois. At which point the Red Cross informed me that "serious diseases" like M.S. were reason for permanent deferral from donation. Even later when there was some doubt as to the diagnosis I was in their computer as a "cannot donate" anywhere. Anyway, my friend told me that the Puget Sound Blood Center does not have that am rule. I remembered being skeptical....

It was about 3:45 and they were open until 6:00; I figured I would pop by there a little after five, the worst they could do is say no, which the Red Cross had done for over 10 years in five states anyway, right? These people were scientists! Didn't they understand that a disease that is not transmitted by blood would not pose a risk to anyone who received blood? Grrrr. Ok, maybe was getting a little angry at this point.

Well, I went by at 5:30. And let me tll you, they blew my chance to be righteously indignant. They accepted me as a donor! And they said they had been doing so at least since 2002, with FDA approval! They could not comment on the Red Cross or why they still have it on their exclusion list in most states, but clearly the Red Cross had not gotten the memo (a casual web search has many Red Cross chapters that still have this restriction). I am kicking myself for not trying years ago. But I am happy to say that I left a pint and plan to keep doing so ever 56-60 days, for as long as I have veins for them to stick.

Seeing red? Yes. But in a really, really good way. If I can dig up my old records they may even be willing to credit me for my prior years. Silly, I know -- but not being allowed to donate blood was the first time I honestly felt like M.S. made me less of a person. Even the thought that someone in a medical emergency that would require a tranfusion would not be able to benefit made me realize that even if I did not feel different that other people might treat me differently. But now I was back and promoted to "normal enough" to give blood. Cool!

When I got up, they were telling me to be careful in case I felt dizzy. I told them no worries, that was my waking state. And I was still okay. I scooted home feeing quite invigorated. And I will be back on August 18th to donate again. That was awesome, and a "great first time" exoerience for a not quite new person.This was really good news....

The moral of the story?

Well, if I were cynical I could claim that the moral of the story is that I should carp more often. If I had gone and done that years ago, I would have been able to give that much sooner. :-)

But right now I am not feeling cynical. I'm a person again! :-)

# Jon Briton on 24 Jun 2005 12:41 AM:

Didn't you see _And_the_Band_Played_on_? There was a Red Cross guy they had a news clip of. I can't remember the guy's name. But he was claiming that the association of AIDS and blood transfusion is on the order of one in a million.

The Red Cross is always out of step with the realities of medicine. It is a shame that they can't be out of step when it would save lives.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 24 Jun 2005 1:01 AM:

I remember that clip -- I think I remember it from when it was actually on TV, too? Andrew Katz M.D., I think.

Heh, wonder what he does after a sound clip like that one gets immortalized in a movie....

# MSDNArchive on 24 Jun 2005 3:10 AM:

Hey I lived in the US for 15 years. They would not take my blood because I was British. Something to do with Mad Cow Disease. Anyway I had been vegetarian for numerous years and had been US resident for some time but that did not make a difference. They just did not want British blood.
Funny really in 1796 you guys could not get enough of it.

# Stuart Dootson on 24 Jun 2005 6:00 AM:

Cool! I gave blood on Monday and next itme I give (probably September - 4 months is the usual minimum gap here in the UK) will be my 25th pint, which is (IIRC) a slight landmark here.

More than 1/4 of the way to 10 gallons, anyway :-)

# Daniel Garlans on 24 Jun 2005 8:19 AM:

Along the same lines as Dave, I can't donate blood because I lived in England for a number of years... Which I must say was a pretty annoying fact to learn; I hate needles so it took an extreme amount of courage for me to go down to the blood drive, and I was practically ready to soil myself in fear but I knew I was about to do a good thing. And then they asked if I'd ever left the country, and the truth came out, and that was it...

was certainly a heck of an anticlimax :(

# Anthony Mills on 24 Jun 2005 8:32 AM:

Yeah, I can't give blood because I had hepatitis when I was 15 (I'm 26 now). And my wife can't give blood either because she lives with me.


# Michael S. Kaplan on 24 Jun 2005 9:17 AM:

Yeah, the list is pretty exclusive.... kind of sad when you think about how often they complain about the blood supply.

I didn't mean to lord it over anybody though. Sorry about that! :-(

Tanveer Badar on 22 Dec 2007 12:59 AM:

Actually, there are 10 kinds of people, those who understand ternary, those who don't and those who confuse it with binary.

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referenced by

2011/03/13 I'm not bad. I just bleed that way....

2005/10/06 I ask the cat-goddess Bubastis...

2005/08/16 It may make my brown eyes blue

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